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Sam Harper. Freelance Radio Presenter
BE YOURSELF AND HAVE FUN
With every piece of content you do, whether it’s the weather or your take on the biggest showbiz story of the day, try to put your own slant on everything and make it your own. You can get across your personality in just a few seconds, it doesn’t necessarily mean talking loads! If you’re enjoying the show then it will come across to the listener.
LEARN THE TRADE
Be prepared to work for free for a few years at a community or student radio station to learn the basics. I spent three happy years at my local community station learning the basics and loved it. It’s also a great opportunity to have some freedom to try new things and work out the kind of presenter you want to be! Asking to shadow at commercial or BBC stations is also great to get your foot in the door and will help you learn the ropes whilst networking.
Get in touch with people who work at the stations you want to, the presenters and the bosses! Add them on LinkedIn, follow them on Twitter and ask to have a look round their stations. I’ve found the Radio Academy events to be really useful and work experience has helped me get jobs years after doing it so it’s always worth it!
EXPAND YOUR SKILLS
Being a radio presenter is amazing but it’s always a good idea to have some other skills that you can bring to a station as well! If you’re good at social media then see what you could do for the station that other presenters can’t and if you’re great with video then use that skill and offer to use your skills to help out.
NEVER GIVE UP!
Getting into radio can feel impossible but if you really want it then you can make it happen. It took me four years of sending demos to get on a certain commercial station and I got my first paid radio gig by following the boss round on an Outside Broadcast for a few hours until he eventually offered me a show… It can happen when you least expect it!